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Experience with the operation, maintenance and utilisation of the 3 MW TRIGA Mark-II research reactor of Bangladesh

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The 3 MW TRIGA (Training, Research, Isotope, General Atomics) Mark-II research reactor of the Bangladesh Atomic Energy Commission (BAEC) has been operating at Atomic Energy Research Establishment (AERE), Savar, Dhaka, since September 1986. Since its commissioning, the reactor has been used in various fields of research and utilisation, such as Neutron Activation Analysis (NAA), Neutron Radiography (NRG), Neutron Scattering (NS), manpower training and education, and production of radioisotopes for medical applications. The reactor facility encountered a couple of incidents, which were successfully handled by BAEC personnel. In some cases, the help of experts from various local organisations/institutions as well as from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was obtained. The upgrading of the Safety Analysis Report (SAR) of the reactor facility was completed in 2005 as per the format of the IAEA Safety Guide, SG-35-G1. The cooling system of the reactor as well as some parts of the instrumentations used in the reactor systems were also upgraded/modified during this period. The paper highlights the experience with the operation, maintenance and utilisation of the research reactor for the last 21 years. It also presents some of the modification and upgrading works carried out to enhance the operational safety of the research reactor.

Keywords: neutron activation analysis, NAA, neutron radiography, NRG, neutron scattering, safety analysis reports, SAR, IAEA Safety Guide, N-16 decay tank, Bangladesh, research reactors, nuclear energy, nuclear power, nuclear safety, manpower training, nuclear education, medical radioisotopes

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